Budapest, HungaryArrive in Budapest and transfer to your luxurious river cruise ship. This evening, meet your fellow travelers at the Welcome Cocktail Reception followed by dinner. (D)
BudapestThis morning, your sightseeing tour takes you to historic Buda Castle from where you can enjoy a splendid view of the twin cities of Buda and Pest spread over both banks of the River. Your tour also features the distinctive Fisherman’s Bastion, the Royal Palace, St. Stephen’s Basilica, the famous Heroes’ Square and more. Your afternoon is free to explore on your own. (B,L,D)
Bratislava, Slovakia / Vienna, AustriaWake up this morning in Bratislava, capital of Slovakia. You have your choice of two tours today. The first option is a walking tour of the city’s major sights, including the Old Town Hall, the stunning Mirbach Palace and Gothic St. Martin’s Cathedral. In the alternative, choose a “Communist Tour” that includes architectural landmarks such as the Radio Building, Liberty Square and the Soviet War Memorial. Later, you will have some free time before the ship cruises to Vienna, the music capital of the world. After dinner, enjoy an optional Mozart and Strauss concert in one of the great formal concert houses of Imperial Vienna, such as the Hofburg Palace or Palais Auersperg. (B,L,D)
ViennaSavor the Baroque elegance of romantic Vienna during your guided sightseeing tour, which will include the impressive Vienna Opera House, the majestic Ringstrasse and the historic St. Stephen’s Cathedral. The remainder of the day is at your leisure. After dinner, experience a traditional “Viennese Wine and Music” evening in a wine village near Vienna. Enjoy the year’s newest vintage, surrounded by music and hospitality. (B,L,D)
Weissenkirchen-Ammersdorf-GreinArrive in Weissenkirchen this morning, from where you will depart for a walking tour along Dürnstein’s cobblestone streets. Admire the magnificent blue tower of the local Stiftskirche (abbey church) and castle ruins high on a hill where Richard the Lionheart was once held for ransom. Return to the ship and continue onwards cruising through the gorgeous scenery of the Wachau Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This afternoon, visit the spectacular Benedictine Abbey in Melk, one of Europe’s largest and most revered monasteries and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You will see jewel-encrusted crosses containing religious relics, frescoes and richly embroidered vestments, as well as the abbey’s priceless collection of medieval manuscripts. Tonight the ship arrives in Grein, where you may enjoy some free time to explore this charming town.
Linz / GmundenThis morning the ship arrives in Linz, the second largest city in Austria. Your walking tour will take you along the Landstrasse to the city’s main square. You will see St. Mary’s Cathedral, the Marian Column, Landestheatre and St. Martin’s, the oldest church in Austria. Return to the ship for brunch. This afternoon you have the choice of three different excursions. The first option is a visit to the scenic “Salzkammergut” region, the Austrian Lake District, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Explore the historic town of Gmunden, on the shore of Lake Traunsee. The second option is to join an excursion to the Czech town of Cesky Krumlov. This is a wonderfully preserved medieval town, nestled in the hills just over the Austrian-Czech border. The third choice this afternoon is an excursion to Salzburg, where you will take a walking tour of the historic center, famous as the setting for the “Sound of Music” and as the birthplace of Mozart. Enjoy free time on your own, before returning to the ship. (B,L,D)
Passau, Germany / VilshofenEarly this morning, cruise through Upper Austria to Passau in Germany, where the rivers Inn and Ilz join the Danube. Your city tour takes you on an exploration of this fairy-tale city founded more than 2,000 years ago. Highlights include St. Stephan’s Cathedral, home to the largest cathedral organ in the world. As an alternative, explore the city on a guided bike tour (capacity controlled). This afternoon, the ship cruises to Vilshofen, a charming 1200-year-old Bavarian town on the confluence of the river Vils and the Danube. There, you’ll enjoy “Oktoberfest” in Vilshofen. Relax at long tables and benches, sampling local food and beer accompanied by Bavarian folk music, song and dance. (B,L,D)
Vilshofen / DisembarkThis morning disembark the ship, departing Vilshofen after breakfast for your return flight home.